American Citizen and Her Syrian Family File Suit After Visas Are Unjustly Withheld Because Muslim Ban

Washington DC – Today, Muslim Advocates filed a lawsuit on behalf of an American woman and her Syrian family whose visas are wrongfully being withheld because of the second Muslim ban executive order. Their visa applications had already been approved by the U.S. government yet they are still stuck in war torn Syria.

The family, after having their visa applications approved by the U.S. government, quit their jobs, disenrolled their children from school, and traveled to another country to collect their visas and move to the United States.  However, a few days before they were set to pick up their passports, the second executive order was issued.

The Syrian family, who are proceeding under pseudonyms in order to protect their identities, were told by American consular officials in February 2017 that their 13-year visa approval process was complete and that their visas were ready to be issued.

In an abrupt change of course, they were then informed by consular officials that they could no longer obtain their visas and have been in administrative limbo ever since.

The complaint was filed in the United States District Court of the District of Columbia on behalf of Jane Doe #1, a United States citizen, along with her sister, brother-in-law, and four nephews. The complaint does not challenge the Muslim ban itself, but rather its incorrect application to these Plaintiffs.

“This family’s life has been severely disrupted because of the chaotic and discriminatory Muslim ban,” said Johnathan Smith, legal director of Muslim Advocates. “They should have never been turned away, they should be working and studying in the United States, not left to suffer in a wartorn country. The court must order the agency to fulfill its statutory obligation and allow the family to be reunited here.”

The family is represented by Muslim Advocates and Covington & Burling LLP.  

To read the full lawsuit, click here.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.